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Old 02-26-2020, 10:27 PM
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1meanchevy 1meanchevy is offline
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Originally Posted by boattail View Post
I have used several flavors of 17 HMR in lead free and I load for the wildcat 20 Practical on three AR15 uppers. I started using a few lead free bullets 5 years ago just to get a sense of them. Barnes Varmint Grenades in .204 will shoot well with the right speed and right bullet jump. Get the wrong speed or jump in your loads and they are all over the map. In .223 the BVG's are a horrid bullet for me and a buddy that tried them. Neither of us could get groups under and inch with them in our .223's. The Hornady NTX 24g in .204 is an explosive round when pushed to 4100 fps. Accuracy is not bad at 3/4" for me but distances drop a little with that light bullet. I have a 32g Nosler bullet doing very well too. I have a 50g Nosler in .223 that is a tack driver. I bought some really light .223 bullets from Nosler but have not developed them yet.

What I will say about all the lead free loads, both factory and my reloads, is you loose about 1/3 your normal shooting distance accuracy. What I could do with a 17 HMR at 200 yards with a leaded round is cut back to under 150 yards with lead free. I have a leaded 20 practical round that is a laser beam out to 300 yards...my lead free loads for the 20p work best in the 200 yard max range and those little 24g NTX's like 150 or less.

I did an experiment with the 17 HMR lead free from CCI and Hornady and I shot 130 squirrels in a row without missing. I missed on the 131st critter. This was over 1.5 hours and distances from 50-100 yards in a small field. I switched to leaded ammo and shot those until I missed again in the same distances. Same results as I did not miss until over 100 more critters fell and I took some less than ideal head shots.

I have yet to pick up any 22lr in lead free as I only keep one rifle with 22's on my shooting trailer for those critters that pop up under me. Other than the speedy 204's all the lead free bullets are fairly undramatic as far as splat factor. The absolute worst bullet I shot in .204 was the Speer TNT leaded 39g bullet. It would knife right through a critter and they would have a delayed reaction before falling over. The best heavy hitter for me in .204 is the 40g Vmax leaded.....laser flat and a huge punch when they hit with explosive results. The most smiles per trigger pull have to be the 24g NTX at 100 yards and under.....you run your scope down to low power so you can see a wide angle and watch the pieces fly!

Currently in 20 Prac. I am using 26g BVG's at 4000 fps with good results, 24g NTX at 4100 fps with great explosive hits, and 32g Noslers with great accuracy.

In .223 I have the 50g Noslers and some 32g Noslers yet to be developed.

I want my leaded rounds back!

In 17 HMR I run the 15.5g in Winchester and have 4-5k of those on hand.
Good stuff here , thanks. Im deep into my .223's with higher end barrels, so I guess im just going to have to find Noslers somewhere (sold out most everywhere). And somehow pull down all my V-Maxs🙁🙁
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